US, Argentina discuss Hezbollah threat ahead of AMIA attack anniversary
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US, Argentina discuss Hezbollah threat ahead of AMIA attack anniversary

Buenos Aires plans to mark 25 years since the July 18, 1994, bombing that killed 85, with gatherings at embassies around the world

Firemen and civilians walk over the rubble left after a bomb exploded at the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 18, 1994. (Ali Burafi/AFP/Getty Images/via JTA)
Firemen and civilians walk over the rubble left after a bomb exploded at the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 18, 1994. (Ali Burafi/AFP/Getty Images/via JTA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States and Argentina convened a two-day regional summit in Buenos Aires about the persistent Hezbollah threat in the Western Hemisphere.

The summit Tuesday and Wednesday was held a month ahead of the 25th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in the Argentine capital. The attack was carried out by a Hezbollah suicide bomber and orchestrated by Iran, the late Argentinian investigator Alberto Nisman established.

Law enforcement, prosecutors and financial practitioners attended the workshop, a State Department release said. They came from the two convening countries as well as Chile, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.

“The workshop focused on Hezbollah’s modus operandi globally and its terrorist and criminal infrastructure and activities in the Americas,” the release said.

Hezbollah fighters stand on their armed vehicles and hold their party flags, as they parade during a rally to mark the 13th day of Ashoura, in the southern market town of Nabatiyeh, Lebanon, November 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

“Participants discussed various techniques to constrain and counter the group’s illicit activities, including the financial and law enforcement tools available to identify, investigate, and prosecute Hezbollah’s global support and facilitation networks.”

The summit was timed as part of the events that Argentina’s government is planning to mark the anniversary of the blast on July 18, 1994, which killed 85 and injured more than 300.

The summit comes after the Mossad intelligence agency played a cat-and-mouse game with the Hezbollah terror group to stymie its efforts to establish explosives storehouses from Thailand to New York, an Israeli intelligence official confirmed this week.

The largest cache, containing some three tons of ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient for some types of explosives, was found at four locations in north London, sites raided by the Metropolitan Police in September 2015. Other caches planted by Hezbollah cells were discovered in Cyprus, Thailand and as-yet unnamed European countries, according to reports.

On July 18, Argentina’s embassies in 20 cities around the world will mark the anniversary in a joint initiative with the World Jewish Congress. The next day, Argentina will host a Western Hemisphere Ministerial, where government ministers meet and discuss policy, in commemoration of the attack.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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